A/N: This is my first story ever and I hope that you all will like it :) I want to say a big thank you to my BETA's Denpa Wave Chick Saki and Throppsicle for their patience ;)
Reviews are always welcome!
Galinda was in her room in Crage Hall, sorting through her massive pile of clothes that was returned from the laundry. She had some free time that afternoon, and unless she wanted her roommate glaring at her disapprovingly, because Elphaba hated an untidy room, she had to put her washed outfits into her dresser. Galinda wondered how in Oz Elphaba was able to live with such a small amount of wardrobe. There was no piece of clothing that was coordinated, a horrible thought for her.
Their relationship had made some progress during the last weeks, but she could be sure that Elphaba would hold firm to the tidiness of their dorm room. That was fuel for many heated discussions since the start of their first term at Shiz. She thought about their very rocky beginnings and was surprised that despite of the many differences between her and Elphaba, she started to like her.
As she was finished, she looked out of the window and saw big rainclouds appear in the distance. Sure enough there would be rain during the next hour.
"Maybe I should take the chance for a little walk in the rain," Galinda said to herself while she followed the rainclouds with her eyes. Since she was a child, she loved to walk in the rain.
It was very dry during the last weeks and she hadn't a chance to do it in a while. Many of her friends were curious about why she loved rain so much; most of them preferred to stay in.
Just then the first drops started to fall and she squealed, jumped up, grabbed her umbrella and cloak and was out of her dorm, feeling grateful for the mix-up in her sorcery class earlier which brought her this free afternoon. Some students accidently blew up some potions, creating a whole in the ceiling and the teacher was afraid that the roof would come down on them. Galinda found that whole incident very amusing, because the boys, who caused the explosions, were very full of themselves and were bragging all week about their "skills" in potion making.
Elphaba stormed out of her class, furious about her current study partner, who only worked for his own benefit. She loved the life sciences, but it was no fun with that arrogant boy, whose only pastime was to annoy her to death with his comments about her skin. He constantly asked if she studies life science to find out why she was born green. Elphaba was not very interested in why she was green; she was only interested in the problems her skin condition caused in her everyday life. In her fury, she wasn't very attentive to her current surroundings and of course didn't see the incoming rainclouds that would bring Galinda great joy, but were incredibly dangerous for her.
She walked out onto the big grassy area around the lake and stood at the shore for a while, slowly calming down. Elphaba knew that she had to stay calm with her study partner; she didn't want to show him any weakness at all. He was just a little pain in the behind, not worth all that anger.
She was still totally unaware of the approaching danger over her in the sky. As the first drops of water hit her she looked up, panicked, and realized that she was in the middle of a field. There was no shelter for her to hide in. She knew at that moment that her best kept secret about her skin condition would get her into serious trouble.
The rain picked up very fast and Elphaba looked wildly around, firmly clutching her cloak to her body, trying to find an escape route from the harmful situation. There was only one way: to run for her life to the nearby stone benches near the science building. Elphaba ran as fast as she could, but soon her cloak was soaked with water and the tingling and then the burning started to creep over her skin.
She got slower as the pain shot through her whole body and she knew that she would never reach the bench in time. Several times she fell to the ground, soaking herself further. Finally, with all her strength and will, she reached the bench and collapsed under it, drifting into unconsciousness from the pain.
Galinda walked down the path to the lake, enjoying the smell of wet grass and the silence that lay over the campus. There were not many students to make much noise; most of them were safely inside.
She had just turned a corner, and she suddenly stopped in her track because she thought that she saw something unusual in the distance, a small black heap under a bench.
"Hmmm, maybe someone forgot their things under that bench. I will go and take them to Crage Hall," Galinda said and started to walk in the direction. As she neared the bench, she saw something green sticking out of the black fabric that lay on the ground and froze. What was Elphaba doing out here in the rain? Did she fall and hurt herself?
"Elphaba?" she called. No answer. "Elphaba is that you?" Still no answer. Galinda ran up to the bench to see why Elphaba wouldn't answer her. She was very shocked as she saw the unconscious girl lying on the ground with her hands protectively over her face.
Just then she saw the red marks and blisters on Elphaba's hand and part of her face and her heart skipped a beat. What happened to her? Did someone attack her? Galinda knew at least three people who would attack someone as unusual as her green-skinned roommate, because of their strong beliefs; that everything out of the ordinary was a sin.
Her quick thoughts were interrupted as a drop from her umbrella fell onto Elphaba's hand and her skin began immediately to sizzle and blister. Galinda let out a cry of horror as she realized that the water caused Elphaba's burns and she wasn't attacked. She hadn't known that water would have such a horrible effect; Elphaba never told her about that.
Galinda quickly threw her cloak over Elphaba's body tried her best to shield her from the rain with her pink umbrella. She needed to get her to the infirmary as quickly as possible, but she saw no one around who could help her.
Elphaba hadn't moved the entire time and was breathing unevenly; the parts of her green face which were not burned were very pale. Galinda knew that she had to try to wake her, to see how badly here injuries are.
"Elphaba!" she called. "Elphaba please you need to wake up! Please come back to me!"
There was no reaction from the green girl, so Galinda gently touched her shoulder to shake her a little, but immediately realized that her cloak was drenched with water.
"No!" Galinda gasped and in her panic she did the only thing that came into her mind: she drew her wand from her skirt pocket and chanted a drying spell she had learned a few weeks ago in class. Galinda desperately hoped that it would work and was very relieved as she felt the dry fabric of Elphaba's clothes under her hands. She continued to gently shake Elphaba's shoulder and called for her, but wasn't very successful.
Elphaba was surrounded by flames; she saw no way out of this lethal situation.
She felt her skin burning, the pain unbearable. She tried to run away from the flames, but as she reached the tiny gap in the ring of fire, it closed its deathly circle completely around her. She was in a trap that was the end of all things.
"Elphaba, can you hear me? Please, you need to wake up!"
That voice! She knew that voice! It was her roommate's voice that was calling her.
"Elphaba come back to me!" Elphaba heard the voice again.
"I am trying! But the flames are everywhere!" Elphaba yelled in the direction of Galinda's voice.
"Just come to me, you can do it!" came the reply from behind the ring of fire.
With all her remaining strength, Elphaba began to run towards the voice, not caring that she had to jump right trough the flames. As she reached the other side, she felt intense pain all over her body and she suddenly saw the blurry features of Galinda leaning over her.
Galinda nearly gave up to try to wake Elphaba, but suddenly she saw her dark eyes flutter open just a little and heard a loud groan.
"Elphaba? It's me, Galinda" she said as calmly as she could when she saw that Elphaba was looking at her. "You will be safe now, please trust me! I will take you to the infirmary and everything will be all right!"
Elphaba did not answer, but let out another groan of pain and started to slip back into the dark again.
"No Elphaba, please stay awake, please stay with me now!" Galinda cried, but it was too late.
Just then she saw a dorm porter in the distance and shouted at top of her lungs for him.
Fortunately he heard her and came running at top speed down the path.
"What is it Miss? Are you alright?" he panted as he reached Galinda and Elphaba. His gaze fell on Elphaba's lifeless body and gasped. "What happened to her?"
"I can't tell you right now, but we need to get her to the infirmary immediately!" Galinda said frantically.
"Don't worry, I will get her there as fast as I could but I must be very careful because of her burns," the porter said soothingly to Galinda. He gently scooped Elphaba up into his arms and Galinda held the umbrella over her as well as she could. They walked quickly across the deserted campus and reached the building with the infirmary.
"Miss Galinda could you please run into the infirmary and give them a head start? It is crucial now that they treat her very quickly!"
"Of course! I'll run, but please take good care of her!" Galinda pleaded. She ran up the stairs to the first level and burst through the doors of the infirmary. On the right side of the room was a desk with a surprised looking nurse behind it.
"What can I do for you my dear?" she asked Galinda kindly, seeing the obvious distress in the small blonde's eyes.
"I….I need to tell you that our dorm porter is on his way with my injured roommate and she has very severe burns all over her body and…" Galinda said in a rush of words, trying to catch her breath.
The nurse tried to calm the distressed girl down. "Well my dear, we will do everything we can for your roommate, I will call the doctor immediately. Please don't worry and sit down over there while I get everyone ready," she said, pointing to some chairs in the left corner of the room.
Galinda reluctantly sat down on one of the comfortable chairs but couldn't sit still. Just then the dorm porter came in with Elphaba still in his arms and the nurse showed him quickly into an examination room. Galinda tried to follow them, but the nurse shook her head and told her that she had to stay out for now.
Totally stunned, Galinda sank down on the next chair and started to cry.
The stress of the last half hour crept up on her. How could something simple as water have such a horrible effect on the green girl? And why haven't she noticed that?
Dr. Bradburn and Nurse Clare were busy getting everything ready for the impending arrival of their patient.
They didn't know very much about what exactly happened, since Galinda was very upset and was not able to tell the nurse anything specific.
Just then Devyn, the dorm porter, came in and gently laid Elphaba down on the examination table. She was still unconscious, pale and breathing very unevenly.
"Great Oz!" Dr. Bradburn gasped as he saw the burns that were visible on her face and hands. "How did she get these?"
"I don't know, the girl who found her was too upset to tell me anything about that, doctor" Nurse Claire said.
"I asked her but she told me just to hurry up, she would tell us later," Devyn said.
"Okay, that is not crucial to know now, we need to stabilize her first, and then look at how bad she is injured," Dr. Bradburn said and turned to Devyn. "Thank you for bringing her up here."
"Should I alert someone of the incident?" Devyn asked.
"No, that's not necessary right now. We need to have a clear picture of her condition first," Dr. Bradburn replied.
"All right, I will do as you asked," the dorm porter said and hurried out of the door, not seeing and hearing Galinda jumping up and calling after him.
"First thing we have to give her some injections to stabilize her general condition; she must be in great pain right now," Dr. Bradburn said to Nurse Clare. "After that we can look how many parts of her body are affected."
"Alright, I will make a shot ready right away!" the nurse said and hurried into another room.
The Doctor monitored Elphaba's vital signs while he waited for the nurse to return with the shot. He was a little taken aback by her skin color and wondered why he had never seen her on campus before. Nurse Clare returned and handled him the shot. After it was injected, they waited for a moment to monitor Elphaba for any reactions her system might have. After a minute or so, Elphaba's breathing became slower and more even and she was less pale, but not very much.
"I think it is safe to examine her completely now," the doctor said to his head nurse.
She nodded and began to carefully remove the cloak that was still wrapped around Elphaba. After she cut the dress off, they saw the whole extent of the burns. Most parts of Elphaba's back and shoulders and arms were covered with angry red marks, partially with blisters.
Only her stomach and legs fortunately seemed to be less affected.
"I wish I knew what caused this sort of burns, they are under her clothes but they are not burned. This is very weird!" Dr. Bradburn said shaking his head. "First of all, we need to wash her with sterilized tap water to clean the wounds, and then we can put some ointment and bandages to protect the wounds from infection."
"Okay, I will tend to it immediately," the nurse said and hurried out of the door to get the warm water.
Galinda still sat on the chair she sank into earlier and was very concerned about her roommate. After a while the nurse from earlier came out and hurried into another room.
She wondered why nobody would tell her what was happening right now. As Nurse Clare came out with a bowl, she looked back up and asked her what they were doing right now and if everything was all right.
"Oh my dear, I completely forgot you out here, I am so sorry! Your friend suffered several second-degree burns all over her body and we are starting to clean the wounds with warm sterilized water now and then…" the nurse trailed of as she saw the panicked and horrified look on the little blonde's face.
"Oh no! You can't wash her with warm water!" Galinda frantically cried, jumped up and tried to block the door to the examination room.